Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fear with trees in Singapore

Why are we punished?

I came to stay in this condo since 1979, easily been 37 years. At that time, the soil volume were small and I still live with it.  I was happy when I see cars chose to park below me because the afternoon sun is so strong. I provide free fresh oxygen to the surrounding human and animals and taking in carbon dioxide that they gave out. A group of us were so happy living in this urban city.

One fine day, an old man came and tell us:

you know, you should be in the woods, not in the urban city. But mankind has put you here and they must give u special care. They should not just leave you living with the concrete and humans. The tree wizard must come and tell the humans how to take care of the you that should belong to the woods. 

I was young at that time and couldn't understand why my friends laughed at this old man. The old man shook his head and walk away. 

As  time passed by, we grew stronger together. We stayed close to each other to protect ourselves against wind. We grew muscle to fight against wind load. We grew our roots longer to drink more water and to be more stable but there wasn't much space for us to grow anymore. It was when I become older, I realized that the soil is not the same as what my mum had in the woods. 

There were times that we were involved in fight and we are always in the loosing end because the tree wizard did not speak for us. Excavators are our number one enemy.

As usual, every evening the sparrows will come to me and chat about what they did for the day. One of them asked me a question:

didn't they make you short and fat to live in urban conditions? They should do this when you are in your teenage years. You might be a little old for that operation but still able to do it.

I didn't understand what the sparrow means and continue to grow leaves and photosynthesis to make food.
One day during a rain, I hear my friend cry:

I thought I can stay the way how my mum was in the woods. I can't take it anymore. 
Goodbye my friend. 

What I saw was he went flat after standing for so many years. Human came with chainsaw and machine to bring his dead body to cremate. Now my neighbour is not around, I could feel much stronger wind load on me. My muscles can't develop on time. I hear gossips from others saying that it will soon be their turn. Now I understand what that old man means. Where is our wizard? I need to stay short, I still need leaves to photosynthesis.

Last month, all of us were punished. We have nothing to eat any more. I am left with one bag full of food to survive and struggling to produce leaves as much as possible from everywhere to make food. I saw my friends not pretty and handsome anymore. I feel virus attacking into my body after the chainsaw cut. My body and arms feels more shaky when the wind blows. 

Now all of us feel so weak, trying to survive on our last will. 

The sparrows don't come to us anymore.

What wrong did we do?


Mature trees in the urban condition need special attention, professional care and advise, especially when the tree missed the mid age of care and careful planning. 

Do not believe when some so call tree work company recommends pollarding, topping or 'botak'.
Do not believe when they say: Crown reduction is same as botak/pollard.
Do not believe when they say: same as road side trees, raise up the crown / remove lower foliage.
Do not believe when they say: you must do this and that else the tree will fall.
Do not believe when they are a company and only owns much lorry crane and loads of chainsaw but no book on pruning standards or research. 
If they do not have a sustainable low cost treatment plan, you will need to pay them every year to come back to waste money.

Ask them: what is photosynthesis? what is crown beginning? what is live crown ratio and H/D ratio? what is mass damping? What is the mathematical formula for structural defect reduction? Does your team knows what is topping a tree and how bad it is? Does your team knows what is clean final cut just above the branch collar? Does your team knows how to decrease H/D ratio and what is the tree longevity plan?

Conserving a tree can be low cost if you know 'where the screw should be', not ' how much screw you have or how big the screw is'.

So, which arborist in Singapore?